October 31, 2004 at 8:46 pm (Uncategorized)

AZ called me the other day. He was showing a house in my neighborhood and decided to call me. We talked for a few minutes, then we hung up, then he called back. Not much time to say anything really. Just, “How have you been? Blah, blah, blah.”

But it made me think of him in deeper terms. About one of the things that he and I did together.

I don’t really remember how we came to be together that night/morning. It was probably 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning as he still had long hair, which meant he was still working at the bar. I was undoubtedly in college. I would have been at the bar or met him there after closing time. Maybe I waited for him outside of his house.

I love the way he kisses. Its something that I miss and wish I had. Just one more time. Every January adds one more year that we haven’t. Maybe it’s the first week in February. How time flies. We’ve known each other almost 13 years. The last time we kissed was 1995. The last time I had my mouth wrapped around his dick was December 2003. Way too long.

But this happened before we stopped kissing. It was before Nate and Nate’s dad. I don’t even remember the time of year. What I do remember is laying in his king size bed. Maybe we were sweaty or it was just a combination of bar grime and lovin’ that prompted him to pull me up and out of the bed. Against my protests he pushed me into the bathroom and started the shower. He pulled me in behind him, then circled me around and lead me into the water.

I remember his soapy hands starting at my neck and working their way down over my breasts, slow circles on my belly and slipping between my legs and over my thighs. I threaded my fingers in his and rubbed his hands over my nipples and then I turned and pressed my soapy body against his. I soaped his body as he had mine and then I turned and pressed my back against him as once again he prompted me under the shower spray and then we turned and rinsed his soap off.

I can still fill his slick chest rubbing and sliding against my back and shoulders. My shoulders are one of my most erogenous zones. It wasn’t as much sexual though, as intimate. I know he kissed me in the shower. I know he helped dry me off and then I him. I know he took me by the hand and we went back to the bedroom, with damp bodies and wet hair. I know he laid against my back, one arm under my head, one arm across my waist, our hands entwined, his nose pressed into the hollow of my neck.

He’s the only man I’ve ever bathed with and even though I know things are not going to progress or work out with us, I still miss him. I started writing him a letter on Friday, sure that I won’t have much time with Nanwrimo to write to him. Sometimes though, I don’t know what to say. Things were so uncomplicated then, even though we thought they were complicated. We both realize that now. But we both also know, we can’t live there. Our lives are here. Our lives are now. But don’t think that I wouldn’t, just for one day, that day, go back.

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Yum, Yum

October 31, 2004 at 10:10 am (Uncategorized)

Since I left a bad taste in some mouths over my Osama post, I will counter that with a post about food. Yummmmm. I love food. I love good food. I love food that makes my waist expand.

Yesterday, I went to the store and bought cream cheese, crabmeat and sugar to make Leese’s wontons. Well, sort of a crab wonton/crab rangoon. I love crab. Love it. Used to crab in South Carolina with fishing line, chicken parts and a net. Then go home, dump them in the pot, boil, eat. YUM!

One of the best crab dishes I’ve ever eaten was stuffed portabello mushrooms. I can’t remember the guy’s name that gave me the recipe. Its crabmeat, Ragu garlic cheese sauce (like for noodles), some other kind of cheese sauce, salt, pepper, bread crumbs on top, bake in the oven. Heaven.

The store I go to has a very small asian section made up mostly of rice. I was able to get some duck sauce. Yummmm… peaches and pineapples… LOL! Alas! No wonton squares. They said they used to be in the frozen ravioli section but they stopped stocking them. 😦 But never fear, I found a recipe for wonton and I will make my own!!! This is such a good reason to clean my kitchen. I got about half way there yesterday. I’m moving right along.

Now, I’m hungry. Its just 10:00 too. I slept until 10:00 and then got up and it was 9:00. I love that!!! I think I will go ahead and mix up my crab, sugar and cream cheese and let it blend while I clean. I have no paprika and I have no cayenne to substitute so, oh well. It will be good anyway. I’m not much for extremely spicy food. Unless his name is Enrique.

If they turn out any good, I will include them in my New Year’s Eve feast, which normally consists of mini-weenies in sauce, homemade meatballs in barbeque sauce, devil dip (two 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, 2 cans of deviled ham, 2 mini-cans of green chilis, a few dashes or more of hot sauce, blend, eat on crackers – double recipe) I also wanted to try broccoli cheese bites and I may have pumpernickel with dill dip. Plus beer. Don’t forget the beer.

Now I’m really hungry. Time for coffee and oatmeal.

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My “For What Its Worth”

October 30, 2004 at 1:48 am (Uncategorized)

Osama bin Laden has released a new tape. I read the commentary about it. I wasn’t surprised that they said, “bin Laden appears to be in good health.”

You know why? Osama dropped off the radar about two minutes into Persian Gulf II and has only been seen sporadically since in undated tapes etc. Much ado made about his kidney problems and dialysis. Dialysis, requiring a machine and electricity. In a cave? No, this is not going to cause any problems for generators to be running his dialysis machine.

My two cents…. just hear me out. Osama Mama has had a kidney transplant… m’kay. Now, don’t tell me our intelligence would have found the great bearded one in a hospital somewhere. Money talks peeps and he’s got a lot to talk with. Yeah, I can just see some hospital worker saying, “Yes, I’m going to turn the great Osama in for 1 million dollars.” Someone slips him 2 million and he decides to shut up. Doctor? No problem! If he can send peeps into our own country to learn to fly planes, surely to Allah one of them could find a way into a transplant program. Transplanting a kidney has become relatively routine. For Allah’s sake, they’re practically selling them on the Internet!!!

Osama has a lot of friends. Not just misguided Muslims, but countries. Whole countries. And money. He has a lot of money!!! Money to build his own damn hospital in a cave if he wants!! Something just tells me that if the dude hadn’t got a new kidney then he wouldn’t be walking around admitting he ordered planes to fly into the WTC, bitching about relatively peaceful elections in Afghanistan and dissing the Pakistanis for making his life a little bit more miserable. (Go Pakistan!)

There’s a difference in being insane and insanely smart (thank ya Vadergrrrl) and he’s insanely smart and he’s got the money to pull it off. I’m not sure if he helped or hurt the election. I think he doesn’t give a shit who wins because to him, its all the same. He will continue to wreak havoc and make us look over our shoulders. Even if we capture or kill him, his legacy will live on.

This wasn’t meant to turn into a rant about Osama, the terrorist, the murderer. It was meant to simply say, from my point of view: a) The asshole has access to good healthcare and b) he’s taken advantage of it. I say he’s had a transplant. What say you?

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October 29, 2004 at 6:16 pm (Uncategorized)

I realized that I hit 100,000 words written sometime this week. Maybe last week. I’m now at 105,891. And it only took me 6 months. So, half that is 3 months. Now, I’m going to squeeze 3 months into 30 days. *Gulp*

“MikeyJames and the NannerPeach” is now listed to the left as Inanna’s NaNoWriMo. If you were on Michael’s blog the other day, then you know how this came about. If not, then here’s the story.

Michael had blogged about bathroom etiquette and had gone on to discuss some of his quirks. Such as, liking prime numbers and not liking any fruit which starts with the letter “P.” “Don’t care for peaches, plums, pears, papaya, pomegranates, persimmons. Pineapple’s the worst – yecch.”

Jack commented “LMAO. Too funny. And you don’t like peaches? Dude. I can eat a peach for hours.”

Michael responded with, “Jack, yeah, peaches are awright… starting to like ’em more, but put me on a desert isle w/only pineapple trees and I’d starve.”

I said, “… ahem, dude, I think Jack meant a different kind of peach…or is that just my dirty mind?” (To which Kate agreed later.)

And Mike responded with, “Inanna, I’ll be James and you be the Giant Peach.”

So, that’s how I got the title, “MikeyJames and the NannerPeach.”

Then that gave me the idea for the heroine’s name, Nanon Peche. For your French speakers you know that means, sorta, Grace Peach. Hahahaha!!! The antagonist, rather one of them, is Dutch Birne. For German speakers you’ll now Dutch means “The German” and birne means “pear.” The company they work for is “Grenada Science and Technology Center.” Grenada means, come on you Spanish speakers… Pomegranate.

I’m sure you’re wondering about Mikey and James. Well, its probably going to be like a Larry, Daryl and Daryl thing. Haven’t quite figured that out yet, but you can bet that one of them will have the last name of “Ananas” and that’s German, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian for… pineapple. (Ah, the apple of pine eye) How about Kakis? Looks Greek doesn’t it? No, its French for persimmon. (Would he always wear khakis?) How about Plomme? French for plum, much better than Pflaume, which is the German version. (This has just plum tuckered me out) Well??

Yep. I need laid.

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Hobbits Don’t Wear Shoes

October 28, 2004 at 10:23 pm (Uncategorized)

*Shameless brags ahead*

I got caught. I thought trick-or-treat was tomorrow night. Not! I found out when I got to work this morning that trick-or-treat was tonight. Funny thing is, Nate decided at the last minute that he did not want to be a ninja but instead wanted to be Frodo Baggins.

Lucky me, I had a brown velvet blazer in my closet that very closely resembled Frodo’s. If I rolled the sleeves under it looked pretty good on Nate, even if it was a little long. I figured I had tonight to get the rest of it together. NOT! I was a little panicky, having not a lot of cash and even less time to make some semblance of a costume, while at work.

I debated K-Mart and Wal-Mart and figured both were out because A) the costumes would be picked over and B) I didn’t have a lot of time. I instead ran down the street at lunch to the second-hand store. I knew exactly what I wanted… but did they have it?

You would not believe… I found a cream colored woman’s shirt that closely resembled Frodo’s. It didn’t have the laces in the front, but it did look very Hobbit-ish and it had a tie in the back so I could make it tighter on Nate and the sleeves have elastic on the biceps so I could use that to shove any excess up. Sweet!

Then I found a size 5 brown velvet pants. Nate wears an 8 slim but he is so thin that he can wear a five, they are just waaaaay to short. So, that would be PERFECT!!!

I then found a gray sweater type vest, rather large actually with a hood on it. It zipped up the front. I unzipped it and figured it would pass for a cloak with some strategic pinning.
Total cost $14.00 and I can wear the shirt and the sweater myself. *Pats self on back*

I got back to the office and looked at Frodo costumes and realized I was missing the Leaf of Lorien. So, I drew one using the website picture, colored it with a green florescent marker and brought it home. I cut it out, cut out part of a Styrofoam plate to give it some body and then used beading wire to make the designs around it, the stem and the middle of the leaves. Then I colored the spines with a brown colored pencil to make it stand out and WHA LA!! The Leaf of Lorien.

Nate came in and we tucked and rolled and pinned. He got a walking stick from TLC and… he was Frodo Baggins. We couldn’t find Sting, so he was without sword but he really didn’t have anywhere to carry it. Had my Mom not gotten his hair cut he would have looked even more like Frodo!! Alas though, no One Ring… maybe I can find something tonight for his Halloween party at school.

And no, he didn’t wear shoes!!! (Not my idea but eventually endorsed) If I had a dollar for every time one of the retirees in my neighborhood said he was going to have pneumonia I could afford a nice dinner at a steakhouse.

It was NOT COLD tonight. Yes, I know its OCTOBER!!! But, HOBBITS DON’T WEAR SHOES. Yes, Nate walked around my neighborhood without shoes for TWO HOURS!!! OH THE HUMANITY!!! I was sweating and I asked him several times if he was cold, if his feet were cold, if his feet hurt etc. No, no, no, no, no. And he just told all the peeps… Hobbits don’t wear shoes.

When we got in the car to go to his dad’s, I reached over to check foot temperature. They were cool, but not cold. He said, “Wanna feel something cold?” Then he laid his ear on my arm… brrrrrrrrrrrrr.

The funniest thing was there were two older kids, probably 14 or 15 years old in Scream costumes who walked by Nate and then turned around to talk to him and tell him how much they liked his costume. I swear it looked just like two Ringwraiths and Frodo.

YES, I AM SHAMELESSLY BRAGGING!!! I AM THE WOMAN!!!!! I am also shamelessly tired.

Oh, and Halloween Kit Kat and Laffy Taffy were the best!!! (Yes, I took pictures… of FrodoNate, not the candy)

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Please Let It End Peacefully

October 27, 2004 at 7:55 pm (Uncategorized)

Some of you may have read that one of the peeps who belongs to West Virginia’s Republican delegation to the Electoral College is thinking of swinging his vote. Ritchie Robb is the mayor of the neighboring town of South Charleston. He’s a good mayor and he’s been elected numerous times, at least the last 10 years, hell, maybe 20. Ahhh, the much loved Robb. Well, I don’t care much for him but that’s a personal matter.

Anyway, Robb has made it clear that if President Bush wins West Virginia’s popular vote that he will NOT give him his electoral vote. OH THE HUMANITY!!!! They think that other peeps may follow suit in other states.

This is how I feel about it: If Bush gets, say, 3/4 of the vote and Kerry 1/4, then by all means, cast your one vote for Kerry. If Bush gets 7/8 of the vote and Kerry 1/8, still, by all means, cast your one vote for Kerry. But… if it means an election fiasco like last year, cast your damn vote for Bush and shut up.

I am so sick of this election I may slit my wrists by Tuesday at midnight, okay maybe nothing that extreme. Perhaps I’ll just wish I did but to think the election may go on like it did last year is simply and grossly, unthinkable.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know… this may mean sweeping changes in the Electoral College. Robb’s actions may change how votes are counted for all eternity of America. BARF!!!

I would also appreciate it if the news sources would cease “calling” states for one candidate or the other until ALL THE VOTES ARE IN!!!! What a fucocktomy that caused four years ago. If there is a distinct demarcation between the votes then… m’kay. But in West Virginia most of the votes are centered in four counties and they’re always the last to come in and it could make a huge difference, like 500,000 votes.

Yet somehow I have this sinking feeling that I may want to stock up on mind-altering drugs directly after I vote so as to withstand the nail biting suspense and sure to follow finger pointing, lawsuits and Supreme Court intervention.

Can’t we all just get along??? Someone pass the Xanax.

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October 27, 2004 at 12:00 pm (Uncategorized)

Thanks to Leese… uh isn’t that how my last post started out??? Anyway, I now have Haloscan. wOOt!!! Can’t believe I actually got it right. So, should I disable Blogger comments now???

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NaNoWriMo & Bloggerado

October 26, 2004 at 10:26 pm (Uncategorized)

Thanks to Leese, I have signed up for NaNoWriMo. Writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I figured this is 1666.66 words per day. My post yesterday was a little over 1700, although I didn’t write it all myself, I could have written more. But assuredly writing a novel is different. It actually has to go somewhere. But where?

I have a few ideas and less than a few days to get some semblance of a working outline. I thought about taking one of my screenplay ideas and writing it in novel form. Maybe then I could get the damn thing converted to a screenplay. Then, I just want to keep them as screenplays because that’s what the original intent was. Argh!

I’ve written two novellas, both about 30,000 words. One of those I wrote in some obscene amount of time, like a little over two weeks. It showed too. UGH!! It sucked so bad…. I liked the story, I loved my characters but I wrote it shitty. I LOVED the story… a fantasy setting. I’ve been meaning to do a serious re-write…

My second one I took more time on and I’m very fond of it. It was a nice erotica romance piece. I sent it to a publisher and got a nice letter back with my query. They thought the subject matter was too serious for they type of novellas they were looking for and encouraged me to flesh it out for someone else but resubmit to them with something a little more light-hearted.

Dummy me, I have yet to do that. Maybe this is my chance… Stephen King always said to reduce your novel by 10% or 20% or something like that. That would only drop me to 40 – 45,000 words but hell… so its about 10,000 more words than you’re supposed to have. That’s what editing is for. Although being single is not the optimum time to write erotica. Walking around horny is bad enough but sizzling sex scenes with your hero is pure torture. The last one I wrote was so hot, I had to turn the A/C up. But, it’s still a thought.

In order to do this, the first thing is to fix my damn desk. For some reason the thingy my keyboard sits on broke right off. Perhaps it was that fat ass 15lb. cat of mine who is convinced he is still a kitten. For whatever reason, there is no way I can make any type of serious play to get this finished if my back begins to spasm to the point I can’t breath. So, let me see what I can do with this thing.

Well, that endeavor appears as useful as tits on a boar hog. Looks like I’ll just have to have muscle spasms. Think I’ll write a nice erotic fantasy. I mean “fantasy” as in Tolkien fantasy not lusty fantasy. But lusty doesn’t hurt either. Let’s see… I’ve flirted with the UPS man, some guy on the Interstate, Jack, Daz and Mike. I read Fleece’s new post at her new establishment. MY GOD!! Read it now!! I was so hot and bothered I forgot to write down the URL. So, go to Dastard’s blog and look in the comments of the last post where she linked it. Butterflyage!! BUTTERFLYAGE!!! Don’t suppose that is something I can request in my Christmas stocking huh? At least not from my parents.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and have a boyfriend who would like to buy me such things and take me out and tease me until… okay, well, just rock my world m’kay?!? Where have all the naughty men gone????

(Sang to the tune of “Guess He’d Rather Be In Colorado”)

I guess I’d rather be in Bloggerado
Where the men are like the ones we dream of in the night as the rain falls down
Once again we are bloggin’
Once again we are commentin’
To the friends we’ve made here’n the blogosphere

I guess I’d rather be in Bloggerado
Where I’d rather read the posts than lift a finger to work the whole day long
In the dawn, we are checkin’
In the dawn, we are clickin’
To read an old post when there’s nothing new overnight

Guess I’d rather be in Bloggerado
Guess I’d rather be in Bloggerado

*That’s all I got!*

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God Bless The Child

October 26, 2004 at 10:11 am (Uncategorized)

I saw my cousin K. today. She updated me on Gabriel. Remember little man Gabe? 2lbs. 6oz.? He has been doing very, very good until recently. He weighs 4lbs. 2oz. now and has been breathing on his own. Now he has contracted an infection. They believe it may be meningitis and he has been placed back on the respirator. I think its just because he has fought so long and hard that his little body is just worn out. I told K. that maybe he just needs a little rest and that’s what the respirator will do for him. Just another battle for Little Man. Prayers and thoughts are appreciated.

I mentioned in Jack’s comments that he may consider submitting some of his work to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. I saw several upcoming book titles that they are accepting writings for that reminded me of several of you. Here’s a partial list that I took from the website:

Adopted Soul
Alzheimer’s Soul
Boy’s Soul
Breast Cancer Survivor’s Soul
Cat Lover’s Soul
Celtic Soul
Cowboy’s Soul
Crafters and Quilter’s Soul
Dieter’s Soul
Divorced Soul
Dog Lover’s Soul
Girl’s Soul
Life Lessons
Rescue Worker’s Soul
Scrapbooker’s Soul
Sisters’ and Brothers’ Soul
Southern Soul
Texan’s Soul

Submit, submit, submit peeps!!!

I have signed up for NaNoWrMo … I do have an idea… I can’t figure out how to put the little icon on my blog so if anybody knows… let me know… m’kay???

Please, check out my OMA! post below…

Today’s Song of the Day is:

God Bless The Child – Billie Holiday (For Gabriel)

Them that’s got shall get
Them that’s not shall lose
So the Bible said and it still is news
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that’s got his own
That’s got his own

Yes, the strong gets more
While the weak ones fade
Empty pockets don’t ever make the grade
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that’s got his own
That’s got his own

Money, you’ve got lots of friends
Crowding round the door
When you’re gone, spending ends
They don’t come no more
Rich relations give
Crust of bread and such
You can help yourself
But don’t take too much

Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that’s got his own
That’s got his own

Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that’s got his own
That’s got his own
He just worry ’bout nothin’
Cause he’s got his own

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October 25, 2004 at 7:57 pm (Uncategorized)

Yesterday I went to see my parents and while I was there they wanted me to call Germany so we could speak en masse to my German parents. The family is doing, eh, not so good.

Oma, who just turned 88 (not 87) in August has not been feeling too well. Additionally, her husband, Fritz, who suffers from Alzheimers and diabetes and has been living in a nursing home, had a stroke last week. He responded at first and knew who she was but he is now non-responsive. I can only say that I am very sorry for this. Fritz was quite a character. Not so much as my Oma but he could hold his own.

Like my Papa’s father, Fritz is a veteran of WWII, but I think Oma deserves the Medal of Honor.

There are simply some things I don’t know, nor does my Papa. He was extremely young, probably about 3 ½. At the beginning of WWII, Oma, her husband (not Fritz) and their two sons lived in East Prussia. The northwestern area of East Prussia was located along the Baltic Sea and flanked on the Southern and Eastern borders by Russia, Poland and parts of Lithuania and to the southwest by West Prussia. East Prussia was the eastern most land area of Germany and basically operated as an independent state, with Berlin acting as its capital as well as that of Germany.

That part is a little confusing to me and I may update that with better information later. However, I do know that this area of Europe is where my host father was born. During WWII, Papa’s father was sent to the Russian front lines to accompany ammunition transports. Regardless, the Red Army continued to advance and in early 1945 they were close enough to cause panic among the inhabitants of East Prussia and many began leaving despite weather, at least in Breslau, now Wroclaw, which stands 125 miles due East of Dresden, of minus 20 degrees. As the Red Army drew closer, Oma had no choice but to take the last train available and make the trip with other refugees to the nearest safe haven, Dresden. It is unknown what type of conditions they traveled in but most of the trains were over-crowded and rife with lice, hunger and filth.

Dresden is located about 20 miles north of the Czech Republic border and about 120 miles south of Berlin in the Eastern part of Germany. From East Prussia it was roughly, give or take a hundred miles, 350 miles. From there, another 300 or so to Frankfurt or just beyond as the case may be.

The story, as it has been pieced together, is that Oma and the boys arrived in Dresden sometime before or on February 13, 1945. For WWII buffs or simply those who remember Dresden from their history books, February 13th is the day the Allied bombers basically leveled 15 square kilometers of Dresden. The bombing of Dresden is a very controversial subject. Propagandists used photographs from it to explain away the Holocaust, stating the Allies used the photographs of their own bombing raid to support evidence of the Holocaust. (Shite!) Anyway, whether or not you agree with whether Dresden was a military target or simply a hospital city with more refugees, is, naturally a matter of opinion.

What I will do is try to at least explain what happened and try to just state the facts:
From wikipedia:

The fire-bombing consisted of dropping large amounts of high-explosive to expose the timbers within buildings, followed by incendiary devices (fire-sticks) to ignite them and then more high-explosives to hamper the efforts of the fire services. This eventually created a self-sustaining ‘fire storm’ with temperatures peaking at over 1500 EC. After the area caught fire, the air above the bombed area became extremely hot and rose rapidly. Cold air then rushed in at ground level from the outside and people were sucked into the fire.

3,907 tons of bombs were dropped. Out of 28,410 houses in the inner city of Dresden, 24,866 were destroyed. An area of 15 square kilometers was totally destroyed, among that: 14,000 homes, 72 schools, 22 hospitals, 19 churches, 5 theaters, 50 bank and insurance companies, 31 department stores, 31 large hotels, and 62 administration buildings.

Alexander McKee, Dresden 1945: the Devil’s Tinderbox (1982)
“From a firestorm there is small chance of escape. Certain conditions had to be present, such as the concentration of high buildings and a concentration of bombers in time and space, which produced so many huge fires so rapidly and so close together that the air above them super-heated and drew the flames out explosively. On the enormous scale of a large city, the roaring rush of heated air upwards developed the characteristics and power of a tornado, strong enough to pick up people and suck them into the flames.”

Major-General Kehrl, report on the firestorm in Hamburg in August, 1943.
“Before half an hour had passed, the districts upon which the weight of the attack fell were transformed into a lake of fire covering an area of twenty-two square kilometres. The effect of this was to heat the air to a temperature which at times was estimated to approach 1,000 degrees centigrade. A vast suction was in this way created so that the air “stormed through the streets with immense force, bearing upon it sparks, timber and roof beams and thus spreading the fire still further and further till it became a typhoon such as had never before been witnessed, and against which all human resistance was powerless.”

Trees three feet thick were broken off or uprooted, human beings were thrown to the ground or flung alive into the flames by winds which exceeded 150 miles an hour. The panic-stricken citizens knew not where to turn. Flames drove them from the shelters, but high-explosive bombs sent them scurrying back again. Once inside, they were suffocated by carbon-monoxide poisoning and their bodies reduced to ashes as though they had been placed in a crematorium, which was indeed what each shelter proved to be.”

Margaret Freyer was living in Dresden during the firestorm created on 13th February, 1945.
“The firestorm is incredible, there are calls for help and screams from somewhere but all around is one single inferno.

To my left I suddenly see a woman. I can see her to this day and shall never forget it. She carries a bundle in her arms. It is a baby. She runs, she falls, and the child flies in an arc into the fire.

Suddenly, I saw people again, right in front of me. They scream and gesticulate with their hands, and then – to my utter horror and amazement – I see how one after the other they simply seem to let themselves drop to the ground. (Today I know that these unfortunate people were the victims of lack of oxygen). They fainted and then burnt to cinders.

Insane fear grips me and from then on I repeat one simple sentence to myself continuously: “I don’t want to burn to death”. I do not know how many people I fell over. I know only one thing: that I must not burn.”

The number of causalities suffered in Dresden will never be known. With the huge influx of refugees fleeing the advance of the Red Army, it is impossible to know how much the population of Dresden had grown from its normal 600,000 people. I’ve read close to one million. Estimates range from the conservative of 25,000 dead and 30,000 wounded to the exaggeration of a quarter to half a million people following the raids. Many people were simply cremated or melted due to the intense temperatures. Others suffocated due to the lack of oxygen as the fire sucked all oxygen from even the cellars and shelters. The main train station in the area was burning. The fire raged all the way to the Elbe and a huge garden area where many had gathered who had survived the first wave of the bombing.

It is unknown where Oma and her sons hid. She refuses to speak of it. I do not know if her youngest son was even alive at this time. Many died from the cold, malnutrition and childhood ailments. But she and my Papa did survive. By April 1945, they had made their way the 300 miles to the outskirts of Frankfurt. Papa’s father arrived on May 8th, V-E Day, having received a “command” by the United States Army to travel there. In reality, he had simply thrown his rifle down and started walking. When he met up with American troops he stated his intent and was given a pass. Why is unknown.

Upon learning of his youngest son’s death, Papa’s father abandoned the family. Oma spent a lot of time in Frankfurt trying to procure food. There is a story my Papa tells about his first encounters with Americans but I’ll save that for later. Oma was able to find employment in a garment factory of sorts and ironed most of her days. She suffers horrible arthritis in her hand, elbow and shoulder because of it. She married Fritz later in life.

The Oma of today is as opinionated and old-fashioned as grandmothers come. When I got ready to return to the States after my year there, she presented me with a pewter plate with the skyline of Frankfurt on it. She said, “So you don’t forget me.” As if I ever could. It isn’t difficult to see where my Papa gets his personality and sense of humor. Oma punctuates her sentences with a firm “Doch (Absolutely!),” whether she’s discussing the amount of snow on the ground, the price of tomatoes or what ungrateful grandchildren she has. *wink* We grandchildren do our best to hide our smiles and giggles and I think she does it on purpose.

And she and my real father…. OH THE HUMANITY!!! When my parents visited Germany in 1999, they immediately became best buddies and would sit and talk for hours. I would hate to think what things they agreed on, as he speaks NO German and she speaks NO English. Somehow I’d like to think it was the same thing.

So, that’s my Oma in a nutshell… or is that a nut in a shell?

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